Breakthrough Ocean 


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An ongoing series of informational entries

World Economic Forum

Ones to Watch 2015: Rising stars of the City

April 21, 2015

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

Brummell is proud to announce the results of the third annual Ones to Watch – a celebration of bright young talent in London’s financial-services sector and related fields.

The judging panel, comprising seasoned professionals and high achievers from across the industry, applied the usual rigorous criteria to the lengthy nominations list.

In addition to the requirement to be under 40 and an outperformer in their market, a successful nominee needed to demonstrate drive, energy and entrepreneurial spirit. The judges were also looking for evidence of his or her holistic contribution to the organisation for which he or she works – be that internally, as a leader of a networking or advocacy group, or externally, as a champion of a charity, mentoring programme or other such project.

The 30 individuals selected are all rising quickly to the top – and, equally importantly, making the world a better place on their way there.

World Economic Forum

High Level Dialogue on Oceans and Small Island States

June 5, 2017

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

Co-Organised by Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), and SIDS DOCK.

World Economic Forum

L'Express Mauritius: Nishan Degnarain «Maurice ne reçoit qu’une fraction de la valeur du thon»

July 12, 2017

Interview with Nishan Degnarain

Nishan Degnarain est un Mauricien dont le travail a été reconnu par l’Organisation des Nations unies (ONU). Il a joué un rôle clé dans les négociations relatives à la déclaration sur la «traçabilité des thons en 2020», négociée à l’ONU pour prévenir la surpêche et la pêche illégale. Économiste de profession, il a publié cette année un livre écrit avec le Dr Gregory Stone, «Soul of the Sea».

World Economic Forum

Dreamforce/Forbes Philanthropy Summit: The Future of Our Oceans

October 5, 2016

By Nishan Degnarain

On a planet where everything is connected, the health of our oceans is intimately linked to social and economic well-being. New technology and creative ideas are allowing us to explore further into the depths to discover how we can take what we need from the oceans without taking too much. Environmental leaders Nishan Degnarain, Dr. Douglas McCauley, Julie Packard and Boyan Slat will dive headfirst into the future of our oceans.

World Economic Forum

United Nations Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea

June 14, 2016

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

17th Meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-17) - Marine Debris, Plastics and Microplastics. 13-17 June 2016 | UN Headquarters, New York.

On Tuesday, delegates to the seventeenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-17) continued their discussions under the theme of “marine debris, plastics and microplastics.”

In the morning, delegates heard six presentations on the topic of “environmental, social and economic dimensions of marine debris, plastics and microplastics, and progress made in preventing, reducing and controlling pollution from marine debris, plastics and microplastics.” The discussions focused on: ecotoxicological impacts of microplastics on marine organisms; sea turtles and plastic debris in South America; risks posed by marine microplastic and nanoplastic debris to human health; considerations in the transition to a new plastics economy; monitoring of microplastics and hazardous chemicals in water, sediment and biota; and risk-based approaches to evaluating the environmental impacts of marine plastic pollution at local, national and global levels.

World Economic Forum

UBS Global Visionaries: Healing Oceans with Big Data

March 1, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain

Nishan Degnarain discusses how Big Data and Artificial Intelligence can heal our oceans as part of UBS Global Visionaries.

World Economic Forum

Huffington Post: Review of The Soul of the Sea

June 21, 2017

Featuring Nishan Degnarain and Gregory Stone

At the UN Ocean Conference in New York this June, a copy of a new book – SOUL OF THE SEA IN THE AGE OF THE ALGORITHM, How Tech Start-Ups Can Heal Our Oceans – was presented to each attending delegate by General Assembly President, Peter Thomson.

World Economic Forum

WEF Meeting of New Champions: Oceans as a new frontier

November 24, 2013

By Nishan Degnarain

Our oceans are a new frontier, but must be managed carefully.

World Economic Forum

WEF Global Agenda Council on Oceans

November 10, 2014

Featuring Nishan Degnarain and Gregory Stone

See more on the work of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Oceans.  Oceans offer great opportunity for economic growth and development, and support the very existence of humanity through oxygen provision and climate regulation. Awareness of the potential of ocean resources is growing rapidly, yet the seas are badly managed.

World Economic Forum

2011 Peter Benchley Excellence in Solutions Award

August 26, 2011

By Gregory Stone

This is a shortened version of Dr. Gregory Stone's speech after receiving the 2011 Peter Benchley Excellence in Solutions Award.

World Economic Forum

The Economist's Ocean Innovation Finalists

February 27, 2017

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

The world is in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where rapid progress is being made through financial and technological innovations. Rapidly scalable and cost effective solutions could lie in the ocean fintech space.

Nishan Degnarain’s Open-Source Blockchain tool, backed up with a variant of the Kimberley Process focused on tuna traceability, promises to solve data-integrity issues involved in promoting sustainable tuna production. The blockchain’s secure distributed-ledger technology could yield several new financial innovations and be rapidly scaled to other maritime areas.

World Economic Forum

Dr Gregory Stone and the Peter Benchley Awards

September 16, 2016

By Gregory Stone

At the Peter Benchley Awards, Dr Gregory Stone discusses his career and what the ocean means to him.

World Economic Forum

Planet Tech: Startups can save our oceans

May 17, 2017

By Gregory Stone

Conservation International's Greg Stone and The Verge's Loren Grush. The world's waterways are in trouble. But one of the leading authorities on ocean health, Greg Stone discusses how Conservation International and others are finding new ways to save marine life around the earth, particularly by tapping into technology solutions.

World Economic Forum

Greg Stone visits Fabien Cousteau's Mission 31

June 11, 2014

By Gregory Stone

A vampire and scientist walk into an undersea habitat... Ian Somerhalder, Actor and Philanthropist, along with Dr. Greg Stone, Chief Scientist with Conservation International, visit with Fabien Cousteau during Mission 31 to discuss the state of our oceans and how to protect them. Learn more about Mission 31 and watch the live feeds at

World Economic Forum

Trip to Aquarius, an underwater laboratory

June 8, 2016

By Gregory Stone

In honor of World Oceans Day, Conservation International's Chief Scientist Greg Stone and actor and philanthropist Ian Somerhalder dove down to Aquarius, an underwater laboratory 63 feet below the ocean in the Florida Keys. There, they joined ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau - who is attempting to live underwater for a record-breaking 31 days!

World Economic Forum

Economist Films: Oceans - the final frontier

March 24, 2017

By Gregory Stone

Meet Greg Stone and Jim Delgado, two of the aquanauts diving to new, previously unseen depths.

World Economic Forum

TED Talk: Saving the ocean one island at a time

September 16, 2012

By Gregory Stone

World Economic Forum

Creation of the Ocean Health Index

April 1, 2012

By Gregory Stone

Dr. Gregory Stone, renowned oceanographer and Senior Vice President of Conservation International discusses the importance of creating an Ocean Health Index, with the aim to foster the conservation of our oceans in a systemic and highly effective manner.

World Economic Forum

Workshop on Global Ocean Governance and Ecological Civilization

August 24, 2017

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

With comprehensive governance of the oceans as a focus, the meeting participants discussed marine pollution control (covering land-based pollution, plastics and micro-plastics pollution), sustainable fisheries (fish breeding and wild fisheries) and biodiversity conservation, green shipping and mineral resources exploitation and renewable energy systems were discussed, shared relevant research results and gave recommendations for CCICED future research projects. 

Priority was given to how a well-conserved ocean would influence the economic growth, food safety and people’s well-being in the context of the fourth industrial revolution with fast technological advances, as well as global climate change.

World Economic Forum

New Book: Underwater Eden

December 1, 2012

By Gregory Stone

“It was the first time I’d seen what the ocean may have looked like thousands of years ago.” That’s conservation scientist Gregory S. Stone talking about his initial dive among the corals and sea life surrounding the Phoenix Islands in the South Pacific. Worldwide, the oceans are suffering. Corals are dying off at an alarming rate, victims of ocean warming and acidification—and their loss threatens more than 25 percent of all fish species, who depend on the food and shelter found in coral habitats. Yet in the waters off the Phoenix Islands, the corals were healthy, the fish populations pristine and abundant—and Stone and his companion on the dive, coral expert David Obura, determined that they were going to try their best to keep it that way.

World Economic Forum

Can technology help us tackle illegal fishing?

May 11, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain

New technologies around traceability in the seafood supply chain could offer powerful new techniques to address illegal fishing and ensure growth can be sustainable.  Sustainable innovation will require industry to take greater responsibility along the supply chain. By requiring that all seafood is fully traceable to the vessel or aquaculture farm, retailers and harvesters can ensure all seafood entering the supply chain is safe and legally sourced. This requires strong public-private collaboration.

World Economic Forum

Mauritius: Charting the Future of an African Outlier

March 8, 2014

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

Mauritius is expanding its security ties with India and recently joined the Indian Ocean Maritime Security Group. Such an alliance will also help with enforcement of fishing and mineral development activities in its vast EEZ area in the Indian Ocean which also includes the Chagos Islands (claimed by Mauritius but under British Control with a major military base shared with the American military on the atoll of Diego Garcia). Yet, Mauritius has not let this claim mar its ties with the UK or the United States and followed a pragmatic approach to foreign relations. Favoring multilateralism and accountability, Mauritius joined the International Criminal Court but has a bilateral immunity agreement of protection for the US military. For a small island economy such pragmatism has served it well.

World Economic Forum

Protection and research for the oceans: we know more about the moon than the oceans

August 30, 2017

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

Italy, Sustainability -- Along with the coordination of Nishan Degnarain, in June, the World Economic Forum published a new report titled 'A new vision for the ocean,',which, after listing a number of very interesting data on the current conditions of our oceans, proposes A new vision for the Oceans, made up of innovative alliances, new financial models and new public-private partnerships in view of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which the ocean is even more protagonist. 

Moreover, already 90% of trade, from the point of view of volume, goes through naval transport; three quarters of the world's largest cities are on the coast, and 3 billion and a half people depend directly from the ocean as the primary source of food.

World Economic Forum

Xinhua: Scientists call for new distributed models of ocean data collection

August 11, 2017

Featuring Nishan Degnarain and Steve Adler

GENEVA, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- In order to unleash the full power of ocean data, new distributed models of data collection, linkage, and use are needed, two scientists wrote Friday in a World Economic Forum newsletter.

They are Nishan Degnarain, a member of the National Ocean Taskforce for the government of Mauritius, and Steve Adler, chief data strategist at IBM Watson, which deals in analytical software.

"Public and private interests for marine ecology and sustainable development can be mutually satisfied with inclusive governance models that share information and promote commercial interests consistent with the UN's (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals."

World Economic Forum

Time to crack down on seafood industry's worst abuses

May 23, 2016

By Nishan Degnarain and Michael Posner

Over the last year, a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning news stories have revealed human trafficking, forced labor, and other abuses in the seafood industry. The complexity of global seafood supply chains and significant gaps in regulation have made it very difficult to track, much less remedy, these abuses.

World Economic Forum

Mashable: 7 things entrepreneurs should know about sustainable investing

July 13, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain

Nishan Degnarain, who chairs a Special Initiative on Oceans at the World Economic Forum and is co-author of the upcoming book “Soul of the Sea: In the Age of the Algorithm,” recently stopped by the Mashable office in New York to chat about all things sustainable investing on a special episode of #BizChats.

Watch the replay of the video above and read on to get tips from Degnarain and Rina Kupferschmid-Rojas, Head of Sustainable Finance at UBS, on all things sustainable.

"If you aren’t in the model of disruption – disruption for the good – then you will be disrupted." - Nishan Degnarain

Also contains second interview with Nishan Degnarain on CNBC on the Ocean Cleanup. "So long as the Ocean Cleanup can demonstrate value, it could become the Unicorn of tomorrow." - Nishan Degnarain

World Economic Forum

12 robots that could make (or break) the oceans

September 16, 2016

By Nishan Degnarain and Douglas McCauley

An industrial revolution is unfolding under the seas. Rapid progress in the development of robotics, AI, low-cost sensors, satellite systems, big data and genetics are opening up whole new sectors of ocean use and research. Some of these disruptive marine technologies could mean a cleaner and safer future for our oceans. Others could themselves represent new challenges for ocean health.

The following 12 emerging ocean technologies are changing the way we harvest food, energy, minerals and data from our seas.

World Economic Forum

Poly-Governance Models to Address Global Challenges

October 2016

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

Successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for

Sustainable Development and the United Nations

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in

September 2015, will require unprecedented collaboration

globally across societies. As the preamble to the Agenda

notes, “All countries and all stakeholders, acting in

collaborative partnership, will implement this plan.”

Poly-governance models (PGMs) for partnership and

collaboration, including actors from government, civil

society, business, finance, philanthropy, knowledge

institutions and international organizations, must play a key

part in the process of ensuring the Agenda is effectively


While public-private partnerships have been encouraged

at every major UN development meeting since the

Millennium Summit of 2000, PGMs that are quantitatively

and qualitatively different from previous generations of

partnerships are increasingly emerging. These have set new

norms, reached an unprecedented scale and broken new

ground in delivering services and achieving transformational

impact. They have also contributed to new governance

models that represent major innovations in international


The World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council

on Global Governance and the Future of Regional

Organizations (2014-2016) has tapped its diverse expert

membership to explore the role PGMs could play in

effectively implementing the SDGs.

World Economic Forum

Data Science for Social Good: Developing a Fishing Risk Framework from Satellites and Ocean Data

August 24, 2017

Featuring Nishan Degnarain

The Data Science for Social Good Fellowship started at the University of Chicago in 2013. It is a summer program to train aspiring data scientists to work on data mining, machine learning, big data, and data science projects with social impact. Working closely with governments and nonprofits, fellows take on real-world problems in education, health, energy, public safety, transportation, economic development, international development, and more.

Our goal is to create an Open-Source Risk Tool by combining multiple satellite data sources (including combining AIS with satellite imagery and machine learning) to help combat IUU fishing, and creating a ‘DSSG Fishing Risk Score’. This data science approach to detecting IUU fishing could ultimately guide governance, inform policy making and improve enforcement. In this effort we are advised by a global network of experts. The DSSG Fishing Risk Framework, Vessel Scoring, and project results will be public, and all code will be made available as open source to contribute to the ongoing efforts of NGOs, Universities and International Organizations to end IUU fishing globally.

OceanAI is a spinoff initiative of Data Science for Social Good Europe dedicated to the development of the DSSG project on Illegal Fishing.

Building on the same spirit and goals of Data Science for Social Good, the goal of OceanAI is to communicate and share the DSSG open source algorithms and methods within the Oceans community, and to develop a demonstrator of the Risk Index.

World Economic Forum

Why we need a Ministry of Ocean Affairs

June 8, 2013

By Nishan Degnarain

At a time when the public sector is coming under scrutiny in many parts of the world for stymieing economic competitiveness, it is only by raising the profile of ocean issues in national agendas and creating a new Ministry of Ocean Affairs do we have a chance of creating the governance structures necessary to protect this vast and essential asset.

World Economic Forum

New Vision for our Oceans: Ocean Systems Leadership and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

June, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain, Gregory Stone, Dominic Waughray

The Fourth Industrial Revolution may well be the most transformative force affecting the 2030 Agenda, including for SDG 14. This is because the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to transform how we manage and govern the environmental commons – as well as our economic and social networking models – appears unprecedented. 

The rapid expansion of new environmental networks and movements will promote radical data transparency, which will leverage ever more powerful digital platforms for social connectivity and information sharing. Furthermore, there are, and will continue to be, rapid, unprecedented advances in data processing and technology innovation by 2030 that will generate vast new data flows. This will support and accelerate the expansion of new global and regional monitoring programmes, as well as innovations, for the environmental commons. 

A digital revolution in the global oceans agenda, in particular, could be just around the corner.

World Economic Forum

Degnarain and Stone broker UN Tuna Traceability Declaration

June 5, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain and Gregory Stone

  • Fifty major fishing companies, retailers and associated businesses today signed the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration pledging to stop illegal tuna from coming to market and associated forced labour on the high seas.
  • The agreement was brokered by Nishan Degnarain and Gregory Stone through the World Economic Forum and is supported by policymakers, 18 leading NGOs and civil society organizations, and the President of the UN General Assembly.
  • To help deliver on the outcomes in the declaration, the World Economic Forum will mobilize an “Ocean Data Alliance”, an open-source collaboration between leading tech companies, governments and research institutes.
  • One-third of global fish stocks are overfished, much caught illegally (source FAO) – a theft of around $24 billion annually from the economies of fishing communities. Illegal tuna fishing is a source of forced labour in many countries.

New York City, 5 June 2017 – Fifty of the world’s largest businesses, retailers and fishing companies from across the tuna supply chain today announced a commitment to stamp out illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in their industry, to eliminate forced labour from fishing vessels and to protect the health of the oceans and livelihoods of fishing communities.

Launched on World Environment Day (5 June) at the UN’s first global Ocean Conference, the Tuna 2020 Traceability Declaration aims to stop illegal tuna from coming to market. It is supported by 18 civil society organizations including the Benioff Ocean Initiative (University of California, Santa Barbara), The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Marine Stewardship Council, The Nature Conservancy, and OceanElders.

The combined revenue of the businesses is $150 billion. The declaration is available at and sends a clear message to organizations on the tuna supply chain – from fishing companies to producers to retailers – that the net is closing in on illegally fished tuna and forced labour on the high seas.

Major UN Ocean Conference:

Tuna Traceability Pledge:

Commitment made:

World Economic Forum

25 tipping points pushing our oceans past the point of no return

June 7, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain and Gregory Stone

Our oceans are an interconnected set of complex and dynamic systems. Rapid economic growth over the past 50 years has increased humanity's ecological footprint by several orders of magnitude, crossing several boundaries that represent stable conditions for modern civilisation.

Around the globe, various chemical, physical and biological systems are changing on a planetary scale. Pressures such as fishing, large-scale coastal developments, pollution and climate change are increasing at an exponential rate, causing entire ocean systems to come perilously close to irreversible tipping points. This will have profound implications for the water we drink, the food we eat and stable global weather patterns.

Here are 25 tipping points in the oceans that are concerning scientists today.

World Economic Forum

How data can heal our oceans

August 4, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain and Steve Adler (Chief Data Strategist, IBM Watson)

We have collected more data on our oceans in the past two years than in the history of the planet.

There has been a proliferation of remote and near sensors above, on, and beneath the oceans. New low-cost micro satellites ring the earth and can record what happens below daily. Thousands of tidal buoys follow currents transmitting ocean temperature, salinity, acidity and current speed every minute. Undersea autonomous drones photograph and map the continental shelf and seabed, explore deep sea volcanic vents, and can help discover mineral and rare earth deposits.

The volume, diversity and frequency of data is increasing as the cost of sensors fall, new low-cost satellites are launched, and an emerging drone sector begins to offer new insights into our oceans. In addition, new processing capabilities are enhancing the value we receive from such data on the biological, physical and chemical properties of our oceans.

Yet it is not enough.

World Economic Forum

Values in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

September 19, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain and Michael Posner (former Asst Secretary of State)

Michael Posner, Professor of Ethics & Finance and a Professor of Business & Society at NYU Stern School of Business, and Nishan Degnarain, Special Advisor to the World Economic Forum on Oceans, speak to Tara Kangarlou about ethics, environment, security, privacy, and infrastructure in the future.

World Economic Forum

The future is battery-powered. But are we overcharging the planet?

September 19, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain and Vanessa Wood (Professor ETH, Zurich)

Battery technologies are fast emerging as the new front line in the sustainable energy revolution.

Last week China joined Britain, France, India and Norway in announcing plans to ditch gas and diesel cars in favour of electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the rapid growth of solar and other renewables will require energy storage technology for effective grid-scale usage. It is predicted that these trends will help push global lithium-ion battery production from 30 GWh per year today to 200 GWh within the next few years.

Questions are now being asked about whether we have enough raw materials to meet the growing demand for energy storage technologies - and how sustainable these materials are.

World Economic Forum

As climate risks increase, will geoengineering become a safer alternative?

November 1, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain and Kelly Wanser

New technologies that suck greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reduce heat by reflecting sunlight will soon be within our grasp. Are we ready?

World Economic Forum

Small States Forum, World Bank Annual Meetings (Washington DC)

October 16, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain

The Small States Forum (SSF), which takes place every year during the Annual Meetings, is a high-level session that brings together Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from 50 small states to discuss the most pressing challenges they face. The 2017 SSF had the following strategic objectives:

  • to provide an update on the implementation of the recently published WBG Small States Roadmap
  • to provide a high-level platform for discussion on IDA 18 implementation
  • to stimulate an interactive discussion amongst small states clients and development partners on the small states agenda in areas such as derisking, vulnerability and the blue economy.

World Economic Forum

83 countries are more ocean than land

October 16, 2017

By Nishan Degnarain and Gregory Stone

The 1982 UN Law of the Sea was the largest ever annexation of our planet and our ocean. In one stroke, one-third of our planet was formally designated as 'exclusive economic zones', giving coastal countries rights to 200 miles of ocean around their continental shelf. The law came into force in 1994.

This meant 35% of the world’s surface - equivalent to the planet’s total land area - or almost half of the world’s oceans now fell under the jurisdiction of nation states, rather than in international limbo, as much of the high seas are today.

For several countries, particularly small island states, this meant that they were now over 90% underwater.

However, governments have not kept pace with the evolution and reality of global ocean thinking. Many government departments with responsibility for our oceans are still siloed within individual ministries or agencies of, for example, fisheries, shipping, tourism, offshore energy or the environment, with few co-ordinating bodies or holistic ocean strategies.

World Economic Forum

New Global Partnership to Save Life in the Ocean Launched at the World Economic Forum

January 25th, 2018

By Nishan Degnarain, World Economic Forum

Davos, Switzerland, 25 January 2018 – An ambitious new global partnership to save life in the ocean – the Friends of Ocean Action – was announced today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, invited the Forum to work with his office to create the partnership.

This multistakeholder partnership will comprise leaders from science, technology, business and non-governmental groups. It will draw together about 40 of the world’s most committed and influential ocean activists and thought leaders to help shape global action to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources).

Similar to the action agenda on climate change, which emerged in the run-up to the Paris Climate Conference, the Friends of Ocean Action will design and deliver a multistakeholder “Ocean Action Track” to complement the official intergovernmental processes for meeting SDG 14, which are also overseen by Thomson.

World Economic Forum

A Paris Agreement for the Oceans?

February, 2018


Nishan Degnarain told us about his latest developments in person recently, as he passed through Zurich after the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It has been a while since we recognised Nishan as a UBS Global Visionary for his work protecting the oceans – so he gave us an update on his progress since joining our program.

What's the big news from Davos?

"We're pleased to announce a new special initiative on the Oceans that the WEF will be hosting. It's called Friends of Ocean Action, and it was launched by the prime minister of Norway, [Erna Solberg], the deputy prime minister of Sweden [Isabella Lövin], [philanthropist] Mark Benioff from [cloud computing company] Salesforce, as well as the UN special envoy on the ocean, Peter Thomson. So this was kicked off with a $4.5m gift from Mark Benioff and it's looking to create a global movement on oceans for the next three years."

World Economic Forum

Fortune CEO Series: The Ocean Is Everyone's Business

October 2017

By Dreamforce

On a planet where everything is connected, the health of our oceans is intimately linked to social and economic well-being. New technology and creative ideas are allowing us to explore further into the depths to discover how we can take what we need while promoting a sustainable, prosperous future. In this seated lunch, hear a candid view on one of the key global priorities for the 21st century.

World Economic Forum

Corporate Disruptors: How business is turning the

world’s greatest challenges into opportunities 


By Nishan Degnarain and Accenture Strategy

The world is changing rapidly—the evidence is all around us. The next few decades will see significant shifts in consumer demand, buying power and expectations, driven by massive population migrations and widespread information availability. At the same

time, an increasingly resource-constrained world will be forced to deal with decades of unfettered growth and unsustainable consumption of natural resources. The implications for businesses are significant: With these changes fundamentally redefining the rules of the game, companies increasingly recognize they must take a deeper look at what this new day

dawning means for them and how they should respond. Five major trends, in particular, are forcing companies to find new and innovative ways to deliver value for their stakeholders.

World Economic Forum

Toward Transparency and Best Practices

for Deep Seabed Mining: An initial multistakeholder


October 7-9, 2016

By Nishan Degnarain, WEF Global Agenda Council

The Conference on Transparency and Best Practices

for Deep Seabed Mining convened representatives from

industry, academic and civil society communities, national

governments and international organizations to discuss a

number of foundational issues in the design of a regulatory

regime for deep seabed mining (DSM). The primary focus

was to formulate initial consensus on transparency and best

practices in DSM in general, as well as to inform the design

of an exploitation code by the International Seabed Authority

(ISA). A first draft of this code is intended to be issued in

2016. The conference was held under the Chatham House


World Economic Forum

Deep Seabed Mining Payment Regime Workshop

June 2016

By International Seabed Authority

The Deep Seabed Mining Payment Regime Workshop was hosted by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego USA. The conference was organized by a steering committee comprised of the International Seabed Authority, RESOLVE, Global Sea Mineral Resources, and the University of California, San Diego.

The workshop sought to advance discussions in connection with a protection and payment mechanism for exploitation activities in the Area Beyond National Jurisdiction building on the outcomes of workshops held in 2015 in Singapore and Bellagio.

World Economic Forum

Deep Seabed Mining Fiscal Framework

November 2015


The Bellagio Working Group on the fiscal regime held the following discussion around the system of protection and payments for deep-sea mining in the Area. The discussions quickly focused on harvesting of polymetallic nodules. The results built upon discussions that took place in relation to the fiscal regime during the Joint ISA-CIL Workshop on Mineral Exploitation in the Area held in Singapore in June 2015.

World Economic Forum

Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution

for Oceans

November 2017

By Nishan Degnarain, PWC, Stanford Woods Institute

Industrialization has led to many of the world’s current environmental problems. For example, climate change, unsafe levels of air pollution, the depletion of fishing stocks, toxins in rivers and soils, overflowing levels of waste on land and in the ocean, loss of biodiversity and deforestation can all be traced to industrialization.

New technologies are enabling societal shifts by having an effect on economics, values, identities and possibilities for future generations. We have a unique opportunity to harness this Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the societal shifts it triggers, to help address environmental issues and redesign how we manage our shared global environment. The Fourth Industrial Revolution could, however, also exacerbate existing threats to environmental security or create entirely new risks that will need to be considered and managed.

World Economic Forum

FORTUNE: These Technologies Could Save the Northern White Rhino From Extinction

March 20th, 2018

By Nishan Degnarain and Ryan Phelan

We are facing a global crisis in biodiversity loss. Tens of thousands of animal species are becoming extinct every year and about half of the world’s biodiversity has disappeared since the 1970s. These troubling trends show no signs of slowing down. Indeed, population growth, widespread habitat destruction, invasive species, wildlife diseases, and climate change are worsening the situation.

To safeguard our planet’s biodiversity, we need innovative new approaches. Fortunately, the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s rapid advances in biotechnology hold promise. New genetic and biotechnology tools are already being used in medicine and agricultural systems, particularly with crops and domestic animals. Biotechnology is advancing at an even faster rate than that of Moore’s Law, which saw microchip processing power double every two years while costs fell by half.

World Economic Forum

Satellite Imagery helps Indonesian Earthquake victims

December 19th, 2018

By Nishan Degnarain and Dan Hammer

This fall, the Indonesian island of Sulawesi experienced a series of tragedies that became one of the worst natural disasters to hit the country in over a decade.

Earthrise Media, a San Francisco-based NGO co-founded by Nishan Degnarain and Dan Hammer, had been working with several NGOs in Indonesia when the earthquake struck. These NGOs asked Earthrise Media for assistance. 

Earthrise contacted DigitalGlobe, which provides satellite imagery to front line relief workers through its Open Data Program.  Earthrise helped the NGOs to reach their objectives with the imagery.

World Economic Forum

How Big Pharma can save a 450 million year old species

October 12th, 2018

By Nishan Degnarain

Horseshoe crabs have roamed the oceans since the age of the dinosaurs. They are unique in shape – their shells look like a Samurai Helmet, and they are known for their distinctive blue blood. Since the 1990s, Horseshoe Crab populations around Delaware Bay have collapsed due to demand for the blue blood of Horseshoe Crabs from pharmaceutical companies to assess the safety of medical products. However, new technologies have been able to produce a synthetic alternative to Horseshoe Blood (using Army Worm blood). This expedition tracks the progress of adoption of this synthetic alternative and bring an end to the bleeding of Horseshoe Crabs for their blue blood.